Virtual book club discussion to explore the limits of civility in politics

September 09, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — From the pundits to the polls, calls for civility in U.S. politics has reached a level not seen in at least a generation. However, those calls are also met with skepticism that civility is a cover for upholding or expanding disenfranchisement. How should a democracy balance these competing forces?

A new book from the Penn State University Press examines that question, and the Penn State community is invited to join a virtual book club discussion with the authors Oct. 5 at 4 p.m. ET.

The book "Beyond Civility: The Competing Obligations of Citizenship" will be the focus of the McCourtney Institute for Democracy's next virtual book club event on Oct. 5 at 4 p.m. ET

The book "Beyond Civility: The Competing Obligations of Citizenship" will be the focus of the McCourtney Institute for Democracy's next virtual book club event at 4 p.m. on Oct. 5. The event will be held in partnership with the University Libraries and the Penn State University Press. Register at http://democracy.psu.edu/book.

IMAGE: Penn State University Press

In “Beyond Civility: The Competing Obligations of Citizenship,” William Keith and Robert Danisch make a case for understanding civility in a different light. Distinguishing it from politeness, they claim that civil argument must be redirected from the goal of political comity to that of building and maintaining relationships of minimal respect in the public sphere.

Keith is a professor of Rhetoric at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and author of “Democracy as Discussion: Civic Education and the American Forum Movement.” Danisch is an associate professor of communication arts at the University of Waterloo and host of the “Now We’re Talking” podcast.

The Oct. 5 book club discussion is a collaborative effort by the McCourtney Institute for Democracy, University Libraries and the Penn State University Press. The first half will be a Q&A session with the authors, followed by smaller group discussions in Zoom breakout rooms.

For more information about the book club and to RSVP for the discussion, visit democracy.psu.edu/book. A Zoom link will be sent to all registrants in advance of the event.

Last Updated September 09, 2020